Rota’s needs: flashlights, batteries, water

Rota, which bore the brunt of Typhoon Mangkhut on Monday, needs flashlights, batteries, candles, bottled water, and blankets, according to Julie Ogo Manglona, founder of the charitable group Luta Cares.

When asked yesterday about Rota’s situation after Typhoon Mangkhut battered the island Monday, Manglona said there are power lines that are down in some villages on Rota.

“We don’t have power but we do have running water,” she said.

She said Typhoon Mangkhut damaged some homes and resulted in flooding in Songsong village due to a possibly clogged sewer.

Manglona said Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel are assessing the island using Osprey helicopters—a new kind of helicopter capable of vertical liftoff.

Former governor Juan N. Babauta said he understands that Rota was directly hit by the typhoon and suffered major damage to power poles and tin houses.

“Very fortunately, there were no reports of injuries to the residents or visitors,” Babauta told Saipan Tribune.

The former governor said he is glad that the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has sent at least four personnel to Rota. “I am hopeful for a quick recovery,” Babauta said.

On Saipan, for residents like former teacher Pedro C. Sablan, Typhoon Mangkhut’s was a “banana typhoon” because most of the damage was to crops.

Sablan said when a typhoon’s wind is blowing from 25 to 75 miles per hour, they call it “banana typhoon” as its damage is mostly on farmers’ crops like bananas and papayas.

With Mangkhut, Sablan said there were also damage to trees and pala-pala (pavilions) and somehow managed to scare people on Saipan because “everything was moving.”

Sablan hacked up a fallen tangan-tangan tree that was blocking the Tinaktak Drive in Koblerville near their house yesterday morning. His neighbor helped him remove the tree to clear the road for motorists.

As early as 6:30am yesterday, most of the roads on Saipan were already clear of debris and fallen branches as personnel from the Saipan Mayor’s Office and the Department of Public Works have started clearing the roads since Monday afternoon.

Saipan Tribune also spotted Department of Public Safety Commissioner Robert Guerrero patrolling the Sugar Dock area yesterday morning.

Guerrero said all police officers have been patrolling the island since the beginning of the storm until yesterday.

On Saipan, Guerrero said the damage were mostly debris on the road and fallen trees.

He said emergency responders, personnel from Public Works, the Mayor’s Office, and all other agencies collaborated to remove debris and trees from roads.

He said there were no reports of typhoon-related injuries. There were also no reports of a major crime.

He said all police units have been patrolling all over the island for post-damage assessment.

For Nenita Oronigo and her 13-year-old daughter, the time after a storm is the best time to catch fish using rod and reel at Sugar Dock.

“My daughter and I like to go fishing, especially after a typhoon,” Oronigo said.

Chris Macana, a maintenance worker at an apartment in Koblerville, was fixing the tin roof of two garages that collapsed due to strong wind. He said the tin roof split into two during the typhoon.

Before fixing the roofs, he took photos that may be used as evidence in case of federal assistance.

Manuel Quetaneg, a maintenance worker at the Francisco Mendiola Sablan Middle School in San Antonio, was cleaning the school premises of leaves and tree branches yesterday morning.

Quetaneg said a lot of tree branches fell and that he is hoping that a company will help him discard the debris.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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